I’m finally uploading my September Wrap-up! Yes, you all know what I’m going to say: “how is it October already??” but I can’t help it. September went by quickly and the days almost blurred together. I have never been as busy as I was in September and I discovered I have poor management skills which led me to take an unplanned hiatus from my social medial because I couldn’t keep up. Here’s hoping that October is kinder to me.
Can you believe that in six months we’re in 2022? Not to alarm you but time is moving FAST!! Can you feel me panicking? I’m so thankful for books providing me the much-needed escapism from the passage of time. (Yes I’m losing it).
June has been my best reading month so far because I read so many books I gave 5 stars to and I discovered a few favourites!
ATouch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. If you've followed me for a while, you know that I have a rating system inspired by Greek mythology. The highest rating ever is a "Persephone" which is 5 stars. A Touch of Darkness is the Hades and Persephone retelling of my dreams. Steam, angst, drama, love; yes please!
The Duchess Dealby Tessa Dare. One word: yes. The marriage of convenience trope was done beautifully and I couldn't get the story out of my head. This book was simply perfection. Also it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling?? Even more perfect
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I read this beautiful and poetic book in one sitting and it moved me to tears. It's such an important story about finding yourself and trying to belong when you're different.
Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon. This is a contestant for one of my favourite books of the year. This was amazing. Once again, the was the marriage of convenience trope, with amazing bi rep (both the hero and heroine) with great steam and a convincing plot. What more does a girl need?
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. The most wholesome book ever. This had (as far as I know), great trans rep, an amazing insight into latinx culture, a great magic system and a cute romance. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar. Okay, the fake dating trope is one of my favourite tropes ever and in this book it was carried out perfectly. I loved it so much. The book also had muslim rep which I think was very accurate and touching, as well as two South Asian (from Bangladesh!!) main characters and great bi rep too. The book tackled so many subjects in a sensible and simple way and I enjoyed reading this tremendously.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler. This book was the perfect read for Pride month. It was a very quick read (especially on audiobook)!! The bi representation was PERFECT and I loved so many aspects of the story (my review will be up soon). It was heartwarming, fun and cute with a little bit of angst and drama; Just how I like 'em.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. One of my favourite books ever. EVER. EVER. (My full review will be up soon!)
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. This book was everything I dreamed of and it did not disappoint one bit. I absolutely love McQuiston's writing style and the way they write their characters. I'm forever going to miss the characters from this book! (My review will also be up soon for this one too!)
4 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn. I am still obsessed with Bridgerton and I am determined to finish every single book in the series. This one was a little disappointing because it was a Cinderella retelling and I didn't expect that but Quinn's writing style was still as cute, funny and witty as ever and I still had a great time reading this one!
Lying with Lions by Annabel Fielding. This book was an ARC kindly provided by the author and it was a very nice surprise! This isn't the type of book I usually go for, but it was a pleasant read and I can only recommend it. Here's my full review.
I gave in to peer pressure (it works!) and finally read this very strange but entertaining book. I think I’m going to dedicate a post to this book because i have many *thoughts*.
Aside from my existential crisis in the introduction of this post, June has treated me amazingly! I have finished my first year of my master’s degree and even started working here and there so it was a nice change to sleep without that academic guilt.
I also felt like rebranding and commissioned a book blogger to make the design of my blog but unfortunately the artist had some personal problems and the project was cancelled. I completely understand, of course, but I am still sad the revamp didn’t happen. If any of you know an artist or a book blogger that designs blogs and whose commissions are open, please let me know!
I also want my various bookish platforms to grow (especially my Instagram account) so I decided I was going to start making reels and even joining Tiktok and creating bookish content. I am the most awkward person ever, and I can’t stand to hear my voice or see my face on camera so that should be a fun experience 😂. But I also want to challenge myself and recommend books; make funny videos and connect with more people. Since I have the time, I also want to put more time and effort into my blog, by posting more regularly and post content I’m proud of. let’s see where this new adventure takes me (and wish me luck please!).
How has June treated you? What are some of your goals for July?
This post was supposed to go up yesterday so here’s a joke for you:
"I was reading a great book about an immortal dog the other day.
It was impossible to put down."
Hope it made you smile. Welcome to my Wrap-Up! I had an okay-ish reading month and I blame my reading slump and my poor choice of books this month but I still enjoyed some of the books I picked up so here we go!
I only read six books this month and one was particularly awful but I did enjoy a few of them and even found new favourites!
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson ★★★★★. This book is exactly the type of book 16-year old Karla would have LOVED. I loved how it dealt with all types of topics but the most beautiful part was seeing a Black girl getting her fairytale-like happily ever after. The author also wrote a lovely paragraph at the end of the acknowledgements about Black sisterhood and it made me cry. I will have a full review up soon!
Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert ★★★★★. This book was so good that I got a book hangover after reading it. It was the softest, fluffiest, loveliest romance ever; It actually deals with domestic violence and the way a woman learns to love herself after this hardship. It was so so so beautiful.
The Shadows Between Usby Tricia Levenseller ★★★★. This is how you write a Fantasy standalone. This book was enjoyable, had a nice entertaining plot, cunning characters and a passionate romance. What more could I want? I loved the main character in this a lot because she’s ruthless and unapologetic about it and I love that.
A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden ★★★★. The author approached me to review this dystopian novel and I really enjoyed it! I have a fuller review and author interview for this book; so stay tuned!
I read two taboo books this month and I don’t know what to say. I don’t have a valid answer for why I read this. I don’t know what came over me. I did like reading Forbidden more than Genesis (which I do NOT recommend, even for a taboo novel). Both of these books have so many problematic aspects which I actually don’t condone but it is fiction and I’m slowly making my way into dark and taboo romances so it was an interesting place to start.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. I have the audiobook but haven’t been able to listen to it so I’m starting a craft project and I can’t wait to listen to the story as I work on my project.
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I picked up this book in November but never got around to continue this; I am going to hopefully change that it in April!!
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am buddy reading this with two friends and I AM LOVING IT SO SO SO MUCH.
Nothing can top my birthday month so I knew it was only downhill from there but March was rough. I had kind of an existential crisis because I just don’t know what I want to do with my life. I am presented with so many options (which I’m grateful for) but the fact that I have to make a choice is terrifying and I’m paralyzed. I also had a reading slump and since I read books for escapism I was a little…lost and sad. Also all the context with the rise of hate crimes against the Asian community was really triggering as it reminded me of what happened this summer and it was also very eye-opening. I feel like minorities are endlessly suffering and that we never win. I’m just tired. I’m kind of back on track but it was very challenging for my mental health. But you know what really helped me? Watching SCANDAL. Shoutout to Shonda Rhimes for writing and producing this show. I owe you one. I really hope April is better!
“Work on my WIP everyday. Now this is something I really struggled with this in February and I really hope I make a dent or even finish a first draft this month!” ✅ Result: I did work on it everyday!! I made it halway through my WIP so I’m happy;
“Not purchasing any book (except Act Your Age, Eve Brown)”❌. Result: I bought one book!! I failed!! But it was a second-hand book and it was only 1€ so did I really fail?
“Read at least 8 books this month” ❌. Result: I sadly only read 6 books in March but I’m hopeful for April!
“Finish Empire of Storms which I have been reading since December.” ❌ Result: I didn’t finish EoS but I am once again hopeful for April!
I am completely giving up setting goals for April. I will just try to do my best; day by day.
How was your March? I wish you all a great (reading) month and I hope you’re all well! 🥰
February is my favourite month of the year because it’s my birthday month (February 13th) and also because everyone tries to read more diverse books and it makes me really happy!
I had a good reading month in January even if I didn’t read as much as I had hoped; I feel in a little bit of a slump and I started watching a lot of TV instead of reading but by the end of the month I found my mojo again and I’m actually very excited for all of the books I plan on reading this month
Finale by Stephanie Garber ★★★★ I started the year by finishing Finale, the last book in the Caraval series. I think the series wrapped-up nicely and I really liked to see all of the character's arc coming to an end. I preferred the second book but still a nice ending to an enjoyable series! The author announced a few months ago that she would release a book on Jacks and i really loved it so I'm excited for that!
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen ★★★★ I really enjoyed this book! It had been recommended to me on Instagram and it was so unique and captivating! You can see my full review here.
Fable by Adrienne Young ★★★★ I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped but it remained an enjoyable book nonetheless. I really like the ship's crew and their whole dynamic but I especially loved Fable who was an inspiring and resilient strong character. I can't wait to read the second book and see how it all ends.
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn ★★★★★ My favourite book of the month! I wrote a full review where I gushed about this here. Basically this book contains a lot of my favourite trope and made me believe in love.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★I buddy read this book with a friend and it was such a nice experience! It was fun, action-packed and full of feels and steamy moments! I'm going to upload my review soon!
Paper Princess by Erin Watt. No rating. Call this book the "reading slump slayer"; It is so problematic, unrealistic and trashy BUT it is so addicting and I couldn't put it down. I read this in a day. I didn't expect this to be a series and I might pick up the next book when I have my next reading slump.
This month’s “hopefuls”
I know that realistically I won’t read all of these but I’m going to try my best!
Do I really need to talk about this show?? I loved the diverse cast, all of the tropes and the quality of the cast and crew. I might upload a post dedicated to the series and what to read after binge-watching the TV show.
Nicola Coughlan is a real star and particularly stood out to me in Bridgerton and people recommended the Derry Girls and it was HILARIOUS. The episodes only watch 20 minutes and tell the story od girls from Londenderry in Ireland in the 90s and it was such a good time; can’t wait for season 3!
This is my sister’s favourite show, with reason and I’m into season 3 and it’s phenomenal. The whole series is magnificient.
Listen. I love love love these characters to death. I am waiting for my own personal Nick Miller. The last seasons were so wholesome and warmed my heart, I wish I could see the series again. And I almost cried with laughter too. Such a great show.
Books coming out this month I’m excited about
There are so many great releases this month! I also received an ARC in December for my Dearest Josephine by Caroline George and I highly recommend it to all of you! And of course A Court of Silver Flames! Any new SJM book is an event in and of itself! There are so many great diverse and books written by BIPOC coming out but these are the ones I’m the most interested about.
What have you been up to last month and what are your plans for this month?
I sincerely wish you all the best for 2021! I am so grateful that I got to connect with so many people here, over this platform, and Instagram and Twitter. You have all made my 2020 better!
Last year has been challenging in so many aspects globally and personally. I have to say that I was still blessed in 2020 and many amazing things happened to me! But I do remember the pain, loss and helplessness we felt at times and I’m happy these dark days are behind us. I always struggle at New Years Eve and my heart is always heavy so I decided to challenge myself and I wanted to see if I could read Crescent City under three to two days to take my mind off things and I did! It was such a wonderful experience and reading throughout the day made it easier for me. I kind of missed out on all the “lasts” but I’m happy to focus on all the “firsts” 2021 has to bring!
December reading Wrap-Up!
So this month I read 8 books for a total of 2926 pages!
(ARC) Afterlove by Tanya Byrne: ★★★. See my review here.
(ARC) Dearest Josephine by Caroline George ★★★ See my review here.
How the King of Elfhame learned to Hate Stories ★★★★
Faking Under the Mistletoe ★★★★★ See my review here.
(ARC) The Pilots (no rating and upcoming review).
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) ★★★★★
I discovered new all-time favourite books in December: Faking Under the mistletoe and Crescent City and I highly recommend both of them! The first is a feel-good book perfect for this holiday season and the second is the best book ever written. It’s as simple as that.
I also took part in blogmas and I actually liked taking the time to sit down and write my posts; it reminded me of why I liked blogging so much and I hope I will be more consistent this year.
I had a great reading year! I read more books than I’ve ever read with a total of 58 books which is a little more than one book a week! I’m so proud of myself for achieving that. I finished the year with a bang when I finished reading Crescent City yesterday! Let me tell you it is my favourite Sarah J. Maas Book ever!
I stepped out of my comfort zone and read some non-fiction books and a few classics that I actually enjoyed; I finished series that I had started years ago (The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout as well as the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer) and began some others which I was always curious of (The Raven Boys series and the Shatter Me series). I really can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for me in terms of books and as well as my personal growth.
Pictured below are my favourite books of 2020! I love these books so much and highly recommend them! I would like to add Born A Crime by Trevor Noah which I don’t own a physical copy of.
My average rating is very high because I haven’t read any terrible book this year and I did a lot of research of what I wanted to read and discovered that I have a genre (Romance Fantasy) and tropes (Enemies to lovers, fake dating) that I really liked and stuck to that. There have been a few books that stood out (Anything by Sarah J, Maas) but a lot of the books I read were very enjoyable but I didn’t fall in love with them as I did previous years (the Folk of the Air series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Gayle Forman books…). Really hoping to fall in love with many books this year!
Here are some of the goals I’m hoping to achieve in 2021:
Read 70 books.
Read more books by people of color.
Read more diverse books in general (disability rep).
Read more non-fiction books.
Participate in a few readathons and reading challenges.
Reread some books.
Be more active on my Bookstagram and my book blog.
That’s it lovelies! What are some of your favourite books for 2020 and what are your reading goals for 2021?
This is the last wrap-up of the year since the one for December will be up by the beginning of January, so in the new year. I always feel nostalgic at the end of the year; I hate endings. But anyway, I had a great month.
My universities physically closed but I still have online classes which are taking up too much, a lot of my time and I haven’t been able to read as much as I would have liked. Thankfully I’m going to be on holiday December, 18th which gives me plenty of time to tackle the books I want to read before 2021 (see my post about that here!). So this month I only read two books but one of them is now one of my all-time favourites so it’s fine.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E Schwab. One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. See my feel review here.
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. I’m part of an LGBTQ book club and we chose to read the novella Carmilla which is one of the first vampire stories. It has a sapphic twist (scandalous at the time!) and it actually inspired Bram Stocker’s Dracula; not bad huh?
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. Definitely one of my favourites from the series. It has a strong start and I am obsessed with the group dynamic. Loving every page.
Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber. I love this series; I didn’t expect to enjoy it this much since I read a lot of mixed reviews but it has been great so far! Can’t wait to see how it all ends.
Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I adored book 3 and 4 but I’m not enjoyng this one as much; it seems a little chaotic right now but I’m nearly halfway through and there is plenty of time for the story to evolve (hopefully).
This month has been kinder than others. First, I have officially signed a lease for a new apartment in Paris (can’t wait to go back there once everything settles down) and what a relief it was. I waited two months for it and I nearly cried. I used to live in a squalid apartment rented by someone I used to trust and as I said it was stressful. Since everything closed I also went back home and it was nice to be able to spend time with my family and relax. Overall a great month.
This was….THE BEST THING EVER. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic but I was so hooked that I watched the entire season in one sitting; (there are only 9 episodes of 35 mins each). The plot was incredibly well thought and well carried out. Kenny Ortega aka the director of both High School Musical and Descendants directed most of the episodes. The songs are so incredible that I wish the band existed in real life. I added all of them on Spotify as soon as I finished watching the show. The actors are all incredibly talented and the chemistry between the characters was to die for. So so so good.
This month I didn’t read much so I saw more movies than usual which was nice. I rewatched some old favourites such as Tangled and 10 Things I hate about you. Those are in my top 5 favourites; I love these movies to death. I also rewatched Avalon High since I’m a sucker for retellings: this is a retelling of the King Arthur myth with a feminist twist. It’s not the best movie ever but it does the trick. I also watched Titanic and I love it more than ever. I feel like it even gets better with time? This movie is a true masterpiece.
I (finally!!) watched A Cinderella Story and as I said earlier I love retellings and nothing beats Cinderella retellings. It was pretty great. I also enjoyed watching A Christmas prince which is officially my first Christmas movie of the year. I really enjoyed it and it was actually better than I expected.
What are some of your favourite moments from November? Let me know in the comments!
June has been my busiest month so far. It started with me getting the responses back from my applications for my master’s degree in International Relations. I have had a lot of positive results and I got into France’s best Law School in Paris! I will begin in September! It was the best news I have received this year. Also I had my last semester’s exams from the 22nd to the 29th of June. Each day, the exams lasted six hours on end for six days and it was very demanding psychologically and physically and I’m still trying to get some rest from that. I had been preparing for the exam for two years and it was supposed to be the final step for my bachelor’s degree but due to covid-19 in was postponed from April to June, at the same time as I had my master’s applications’ results. It was very hectic. That is all thankfully over.
Then there has been the Black Lives Matter movement which has taken a lot of my time and mental health. I used to get lost in the ” bookverse” (Bookstagram, book bloggers, Booktube) has an escape and now everyone was talking about racism everywhere. It was so painful seeing everyone coming forth and sharing their stories of racism and it revived some of my own trauma so I have tried to disconnect with the Internet and everything that was going around but I was also soaking up all the resources (podcasts, books, interviews, essays…) because they were precious. It was both painful and soothing. And I’m very grateful that the world is slowly changing and moving.
Just like the month of August, my summer holidays are coming to an end, and I’m going back to school tomorrow. I thought it would be fun to recap everything I liked, read and watched this summer! Here it goes: